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End the political exclusion of more than 7 million of the nation's "modern-day heroes"!   The 1987 Constitution requires Congress to pass a law enabling overseas Filipinos to vote! After 14 years, where is that law?

  Last modified:  03/13/2005 08:54:50 PM

 Related Sites
- Iskandalo Café
- Sa Susunod na Kabanata...
- Overseas Filipino Page
- Pinoy Exchange Forum
- Migrant NGOs (Philippines)
- AMOSUP (Seamen's Union)
- PhilAm Radio
- Pinoy Central
- Anak OFW
- OFWNet Foundation
- OFW 2000
 Supporters in the Senate
- Serge Osmeņa
- Frank Drilon
- Tessie Aquino Oreta
- Blas Ople
- Ramon Magsaysay
- Loren Legarda-Leviste
- Senate President Nene Pimentel
- Pong Biazon
- Ramon Revilla
- Former First Lady Loi Estrada
- Juan Flavier
- Manny Villar
- Francis Pangilinan
- John Osmeņa
- Robert Jaworski
- Gregorio Honasan
- Ping Lacson
 Supporters in the House
- Etta Rosales
- Jomari Gonzales
- Eddie Nachura

Others:  Syjuco, De Venecia, Lopez (J.), Abayon, Angara-Castillo, Lozada, Marcos, Jala, Bueser, Lapus, Barinaga, Macarambon Jr., Estrella III, Ablan, Roco, Layus, Rosales, Espinosa (V), Lacson (CJ), Badelles, Cirilo, Cuenco, Jaraula, Libanan, Zialcita, Rodriguez (O), Mathay, Punzalan (L), Villareal, Albano (R), Jr., Uy (E.C.), Joaquin, Nograles, Gonzales (R.), Villarama (W.), Failon, and Escudero

- President Gloria Arroyo (proposed one of the earlier versions of the Absentee Voting Bill in the Senate)
- Vice Pres/Foreign Affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona (co-sponsored the Absentee Voting Bill in the Senate)
- National Security Adviser Roilo Golez
- Secretary of Education Raul Roco
- Former Senator and Congressman Wigberto Taņada (running for a Senate seat)

Jose Molano (executive director of the Commission on Overseas Filipinos)

 Advocates in the Media
- Conrado de Quiros
- Carmen Pedrosa
- Jerry F. Adevoso
- Jeremaiah M. Opiniano
- Ellen Tordesillas
- Boo Chanco
- Blas Ople
- Jun Baustista
- Rina Jimenez-David
- Rene Q. Bas
- Belinda Olivares-Cunanan
- Art Borjal
- Ernie Delfin
- Raul Palabrica
- Fr. Bel San Luis
- Rasheed Abou-Alsamh
- Federico Pascual
- Crispin Aranda (IBC's Amerika Atbp)
- Gemma Cruz Araneta
- Jarius Bondoc
 Link Exchange
- Negros News
- Iskandalo Café
- Philippine Global News
- Tanikalang Ginto

Click Here to Join
Our Mailing List

Organizations Behind the Campaign
If your organization supports the campaign to empower Filipino migrants through the ballot, please click here to complete a brief form and be added to our list.



Philippine-European Solidarity Centre - Europe


Global Alliance of Filipinos for Filipinos - U.S.




Friends of Filipino Migrant Workers, Inc. - Manila


RIVAssociates Corporation - U.S.


Philippine Network, Inc. - New Jersey, USA

- PPU Forumers - Worldwide
- Migrant Initiative - Germany-based signature campaign
- Commission of Filipino Migrant Workers - Europe
- Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe - Europe--an alliance of 75 organizations
CFMW International - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
KASAPI-Hellas - Greece
Samahan ng mga Filipino sa Belgium
Radyo Pinoy - Denmark
Bayanihan Center for Filipino Migrants - Denmark
Danish Filipino Association - Denmark
Damayan - Denmark
CFMW-Italya - Italy
Filipino Christian Bayanihan in Italy - Italy
Pinagsamasamang Lakas ng mga Pilipino Sa Italya (PILAPIL) - Italy
Filipino Women's Council - Italy
Malayan Theater Group - Italy
Philippine Women's Forum of Germany - Germany
Munting Nayon - Greece
Alliance of Ilocano Organisations in Athens - Greece
United Visayas Mindanao - Greece
Seafarers Club Athens - Greece
Couples for Christ - Greece
Christ the King - Greece
Kasapi Youth - Greece
Federation of Filipino Organisations in the Nederland (FFON)
Alab, Bayanihan - The Netherlands
CFMW International - Amsterdam
Damayang Filipino sa Nederland
Dutch Pilipino Association - The Netherlands
Kababayan - The Netherlands
Kapatiran - The Netherlands
Kapitbahayan - The Netherlands
PSAP - The Netherlands
Silangan - The Netherlands
Kapisanan ng mga Filipino sa Groningen - The Netherlands
Babaylan (Women) - Europe
Working Group of Women Religious against Trafficking in Women - The Netherlands
NaFFAA - U.S. (NaFFAA, the biggest federation of Filipino organizations in the U.S., counts up to 3,000 affiliate members.)
- Philippine H.E.L.P. (Human Endeavor to Lessen Poverty) Foundation - Vancouver, Canada
- Solidarity Philippines Australia Network - Centre for Philippine Concerns - Queensland, Australia
- Kaibigan, Inc. - U.S. (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area)
- Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines - Manila, Philippines
- Peasants Fund - Quezon City, Philippines
- OFW Congress - Saudi Arabia
- Council of Filipino Associations in Austria (representing 16 major Filipino organizations in Austria)
- Gabay ng Manggagawangg Pilipino - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- National Federation of Filipino-American Associations - Region VII (representing 20 major  organizations in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska)
- Council of Filipino-American Organizations of the Pacific Northwest (representing 8 major organizations in the State of Washington)
- The Philippines to the World Entertainment Foundation, Inc. - Manila/Middle East
- Lady of Angels Filipino Parishioners/KGMAers - New York City
- BISIG  Nederland
- Paring Bol-anon Worldwide - San Francisco
- Bicol Anom of Dubai and Northern Emirates
- Sugbuanon sa Saudi Arabya - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Manggagawang Kapit Bisig - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Association of Cavitenos - Saudi Arabia
- ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Employees Association, Saudi Arabia
- Gabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino
- Pagkakaisa at Unawaan Ng mga Organisasyon
- Leyte, Biliran, Samar Association - Saudi Arabia
- Palarong Pilipino Sports Commission, Riyadh
- ABQAIQ CCRM - Saudi Arabia
- KOMPIL - Negros Chapter
- Project OFFWUD (Overseas Filipinos & Friends Work for Unity and Dignity)
- Social Community Action and Development Foundation, Inc. (SCADFI) - Manila
- Kalayaan UK - London
- Party for Overseas Workers' Empowerment and Reintegration (POWER)
- Pasali Cooperative Nederland
- Ugnayan Pilipino - Stockholm, Sweden
- Akbayan - Manila
- Elagda-OFW E-Group - Global
- OFW-Vote E-Group/Overseas Filipinos Worldwide - Global
- San Lorenzo Society Japan - Nagoya
- Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos - Switzerland
- Samahang Pilipino sa Yemen
- The Philippine Women's League of Japan
- Community Advocacy for Seafarers' Concerns - The Netherlands
- Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Arizona
- eLagda-Pinoy-Expats
- Liberated Pinoy Association - Hong Kong
- SST - Riyadh
- Commonwealth USA - Olongapo City
- Caballeros de Dimas-Alang, Inc - San Francisco, USA
- Info Systems - Saudi Arabia
- Exultrade Business Center - Makati City
- Filipino American Society of Architects and Engineers - San Francisco
- FilCar International - Ontario, Canada
- Tropang Pinoy - Baku, Azerbaijan
- Association of Ilonggos of Metro Washington, D.C. 
- Advanz Corporation 
- MOVER, Inc. - Saipan, CNMI
- NaRS - Saudi Arabia
- Bibles for OFWs - Israel
- Apostleship of the Sea
- Philippine Migrants' Rights Watch
- Migrante International
- Samahan ng Pilipino sa Saudi
- Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce
- Katilingban Sang Mga Ilonggo - United Arab Emirates
- Friends of Overseas Filipinos - Singapore, Manila, Netherlands
- Lifestyles - Los Angeles
- Batangas Association - Encino, California
- Crown Asia/Asia Plus Philippines - Marikina
- Kanlungan Center Foundation - Quezon City
- Kanlungan Center Foundation - Quezon City
- Bayanihan:  Philippine Women's Centre - Netherlands
- Babaylan - Philippine Women's Network in Europe
- - Thailand
- FILOVE International - Hong Kong
- Asian-American Civic Association - New Jersey

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Joe Pascual Page (In Memory of Islip les sa Seattle)



 Latest Developments
* 02/21/03 - Click here to watch and listen to the communique of Nonoi Hacbang (Chairman of Platform Europe) as read by Philippine Update's Miss Catherine Alviso. (Go to and download free software if you don't have Real Player.)     
* 02/11/03 - The House of Representatives ratifies the bicameral report on absentee voting, following the Senate's ratification on February 4.    
* 01/29/03 - The bicameral committee approves a compromise version of the absentee voting bill:  no sunset provision and permanent residents included.   
* 01/14/03 - The bicameral committee officially meets to discuss consolidation of the two bills.      
* 12/12/02 - The Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe appeals to the members of the bicameral committee to endorse a consolidated version of the two absentee voting bills for final passage before Christmas.     
* 10/28/02 - The Technical Working Group for the bicameral committee starts to discuss the consolidation of the two bills.  Also, the CFO circulates an AVB Primer.         
* 10/22/02 - The Senate, too, passes its version of the absentee voting bill on 3rd and final reading.       
* 10/21/02 - The House passes its version of the absentee voting bill on 3rd and final reading.     
* 10/16/02 - The House passes its version of the absentee voting bill on 2nd reading. Unlike the more inclusive Senate version, the House bill excludes immigrants and limits voting to the president and vice president.  The "battle" goes to the bicameral committee.     
* 10/09/02 - The Senate votes 14 to 1 (Joker Arroyo) to pass the absentee voting bill on 2nd reading.  The 3rd and final reading (considered a formality) will be on October 21.     
* 09/26/02 - A call to action letter is issued.  For the printable version, click here.     
* 09/25/02 - The Partido de la Revolucion Democratica, which is at the forefront of the campaign to enfranchise overseas Mexicans (more than 8 million in the U.S. alone), expresses solidarity with our campaign.     
* 09/25/02 - "Tutukan si Congressman," a letter-writing campaign initiated by OFWs in Saudi Arabia is pursued.  Click here for the templates (to be completed by family members of overseas Filipinos): Tagalog and English.   
* 09/06/02 - Congress takes a recess without taking up the absentee voting bill.  Overseas Filipinos gear up for an even more aggressive campaign.  
* 08/09/02 - The opposition derails the absentee voting bill in the House.  TALSIK campaign launched.  
* 07/31/02 - THE ABSENTEE VOTING BILL HURDLES THE AMENDMENT STAGE IN THE LOWER HOUSE!  In the Senate, the administration party has agreed to also pass the Senate version after a brief period of interpellations and amendments. 
* 07/18/02 - The International Coalition for Overseas Filipinos' Voting Rights will mass distribute a modified version of the Inquirer ad on July 22 (opening of Congress and the day of President Arroyo's state of the nation address). Ellene Sana of KAKAMMPI will read it, together with a statement from Platform Europe, to an assembly of activist groups and the media in Manila. 
* 06/30/02 - The OFWNet Foundation proposes a shadow Congress comprised of overseas Filipinos and their families to demand immediate passage of the absentee voting bill.
* 06/10/02 - Click here to see a copy of our Inquirer ad.  A list of contributors to the ad is also available online: click here.
* 06/05/02 - Amidst the political circus in both the Senate and the House, the new Senate majority passes the absentee voting bill!
* 05/07/02 - As the legislative countdown winds down to barely a month (Congress adjourns on June 6), Platform Europe issues a communique on absentee voting, calling on all politicians to match their promises with deeds.
* 04/28/02 - The Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce launches a signature campaign to push for both the dual citizenship and absentee voting bills. The petition sheets and instructions can be accessed and printed from  HERE.  EMPOWER's manifesto on absentee voting can also be endorsed ONLINE--please read, sign, and help circulate our petitions!  Congress adjourns on June 6! 
* 04/6/02 - After meeting with Filipinos in Rome (click here to read the communique from Platform Europe's Nonoi Hacbang), the bicameral committee on absentee voting meets with what Senator Angara calls an "energetic, enthusiastic, and spirited" crowd of key Fil-Am leaders (not just from the East Coast but also from Canada and California) in New York City. The lawmakers assure Filipinos who have become naturalized citizens of their host countries of their claim to suffrage in Philippine elections, assuming the passage of the dual citizenship bill.  Click here for pictures (thanks to Jess Guim).  The series of consultations ends in Los Angeles where the lawmakers meet with more than 200 Fil-Am leaders at the Philippine Consulate.   Congress resumes session on April 15.
* 03/18/02 - After successful consultations in Asia and Saudi Arabia, lawmakers gear up to meet with overseas Filipinos in Rome, Italy and the U.S. The schedule in the States includes New York City (6:30 PM on Monday, April 1st at the Philippine Consulate) and Los Angeles (5:00 PM Wednesday, April 3rd also at the Philippine Consulate). Click HERE (Word) or HERE (PDF) to help distribute flyers for the U.S. consultations (please print and hand out or forward via e-mail).
* 03/4/02 - Various regional organizations continue to mobilize to ensure the passage of the absentee voting bill in time for the 2004 elections. In Saudi Arabia, Alfredo Ganapin et al. have generated massive interest as they prepare for the scheduled bicameral consultations. In Europe, Platform Europe (Nonoi Hacbang et al.) has launched a letter-writing campaign to hammer the point among legislators that it's PANAHON NA for absentee voting. Click HERE to see Platform's memo and a template supporters can use.
* 02/22-2/24/02 - The bicameral committee (including Senate Electoral Reforms Committee Chair Angara, House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms Chair Syjuco, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Lozada) conducts consultations with Filipinos in Hong Kong and Tokyo. [Thanks to all the NGOs that showed up in full force and to Daphne, Yuko, and Tonette of the OFW-Vote e-group for the preparations and updates.]   
* 02/16/02 - In a meeting of Filipinos and friends in the Metro Boston area (at the home of  longtime Filipino activist Madge Kho), Dejota Apostol of the Filipino Intercollegiate Network Dialogue (the biggest network of Filipino students in the U.S.) informs us that FIND has decided to take up the issue of overseas Filipinos in this year's national conference (in Boston) and will explore ways to help in the absentee vote campaign.   
* 02/16/02 - We are starting to capture online the sentiments of overseas Filipinos on their political disenfranchisement in: OVERSEAS FILIPINOS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS.
* 02/14/02 - Philippine-based allies hold a joint press conference: Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Statement; Philippine Migrants' Rights Watch; Commission on Overseas Filipinos; and Apostleship of the Sea.
* 01/17/02 - The House of Representatives resumes sessions this week.  The Absentee Voting Bill is only one among numerous "priority" bills, so we need to exert extraordinary pressure to pass the bill by May this year (if later than that, COMELEC has told us that implementation will have to wait until 2007!).  To know what YOU can do to help the campaign RIGHT NOW, click here.  We have also created "scorecards" to keep track of the positions of members of Congress:   House and Senate.      
* 01/03/02 - The Philippine Daily Inquirer issues another editorial in support of the immediate passage of absentee voting law.  Other recent media coverage: Rene Bas of The Manila Times, Rasheed Abou-Alsahm of, Federico Pascual of the Philippine Star, EMPOWER statement ( and press release (, and Amerika Atbp on Channel 9. 
* 01/02/02 - The House of Representatives fails to pass the Absentee Voting Bill before it adjourned in December 2001 (despite Speaker Joe de Venecia's promise to pass it by year-end).  Session resumes on January 14. (According to the COMELEC, a law should be passed by mid-2002 to make absentee voting possible in 2004.)  
* 12/27/01 - The OFWNet Foundation holds a convention in Manila and launches its Web site.
* 11/8/01 - After hearing our arguments (thanks to Ellene, Noel, et al. who have been attending the sessions on our behalf), the Senate Technical Working Group agrees to include ALL Filipinos (who have not renounced their citizenship) in the coverage of the draft absentee voting bill!  Next (in about 10 days) will be the Committee hearings, which will involve the senators themselves.  Dee Limjoco-Pollard of has a list of senators with e-mail addresses--please write the senators what you think.
* 11/4/01 - EMPOWER issues a press release on the coverage issue.  First to publish:  Philippine Daily Inquirer and   
* 10/27/01 - The Senate Technical Working Group meets (10/23) to discuss the key points of a consolidated overseas voting bill (11 were filed in the Senate).  There are concerns that the Senate may take a timid view of the coverage issue--i.e., threatening to EXCLUDE millions of permanent residents (who have chosen to keep their Filipino citizenship).  The next meeting is on November 8.  Please watch for updates, including what you can do to help lobby for a fair law.  For those in the Philippines, please contact KAKAMMPI, eLagda, or the OFWNet Foundation for the latest developments and on how to get involved in the lobby.
* 10/6/01 - The Senate Committe on Electoral Reforms chaired by Senator Edgardo Angara meets on Tuesday (10/9) to study a number of overseas voting bills recently filed in the Senate. The bills are available online at  Key concerns: 1) an overseas voting law should include ALL Filipino citizens regardless of their status overseas (permanent resident, temporary worker, undocumented) and 2) we want the bill passed ASAP to allow time for implementation in time for the 2004 elections. For proponents of the use of technology (e.g., Internet voting), this is the time to offer concrete options.
* 9/19/01 - A consolidated version of the House bills (18 bills were filed at the opening of the 12th Congress!), with inputs from the August Delegation, is available on the Web site (eLagda's Executive Director Noel Esquela created a comparative version for easy reading).  Erwin Lara, the secretary of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, welcomes comments and suggestions by September 24 (before the bill is presented in a plenary session).  NOW is the time to read and express concerns about specific provisions of the bill.  You may send comments to Noel Esquela of eLagda or to me

The Senate is behind in consolidating its own version (several were filed in the last few weeks and copies are also available on the eLagda Web site), but Senate President Franklin Drilon, Committee Chair Senator Angara, and ALL the senators that met with the August Delegation, have assured us that they will make it a priority.  Please note that the consolidated bill that came out of the Senate in the last Congress EXCLUDED permanent residents, so we need to make sure that it does not happen this time.            
* 8/27/01 - After promising the August Delegation of speedy action on the overseas voting proposal, the House Committee on Suffrage headed by Iloilo  Representative Syjuco approves the consolidated bill from the 11th Congress.  The Committee will now submit the bill for a plenary reading/debate. 
* 8/19-23/01 - A delegation of more than 50 overseas Filipinos and local allies (co-convened by EMPOWER, Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe, KAKAMMPI, and eLagda) lobbies for the passage of an overseas voting law.  The group receives very public commitments from both chambers of Congress (House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Senate President Franklin Drilon, and Committee Chairs Representative Syjuco and Senator Angara), the COMELEC, the DFA and its agencies, as well as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  Click here for a sampling of the media coverage of the visit. 
* 8/12/01 - Malacanang Palace issues an official statement in support of the campaign for overseas voting. 
* 8/11/01 - Common fund set up to defray expenses (food, local transportation, logistics, etc.) for the August delegation visit/legislative lobby. Click here to see list of donors. 
* 8/9/01 - Appointment Secretary Rita Jimenez confirms the August delegation appointment with GMA. The visit will include a mass, a brief meeting, and breakfast at the Palace. 
* 7/29/01 - Throwing their full weight behind the the campaign are philanthropists Col. Ramon and Helen Limjoco.  Made aware of the August delegation's trouble in getting a brief meeting with the president, Col. and Mrs. Limjoco send a compelling letter to Malacanang. The Limjoco's are the parents of Diana Limjoco-Pollard, webmistress of       
* 7/29/01 - Gemma Cruz-Araneta--author, the first Asian Miss International,   former Tourism secretary, and now a columnist--pledges active support for the voting rights campaign.   
* 7/26/01 - Despite the president's public expression of support for the enfranchisement of  overseas Filipinos, Malacanang tells the August delegation that she has no time for them.  EMPOWER issues a press release.
* 7/23/01 - Major victory for the campaign!  In her first state of the nation address, President Arroyo calls on members of Congress to pass an overseas voting law: "I ask Congress to enact a law giving overseas Filipinos, who continue to play a critical role in the country’s economic and social stability, the right to vote."  (
* 7/23/01 - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines issues a press release urging the government to pass an overseas voting law. 
* 7/14/01 - After a visit to the Senate, Cathy Ledesma and Dr. Chee Garcia (OFW-Vote) identify four senators who have filed an absentee voting bill:  Serge Osmeņa, Frank Drilon (possibly the next Senate president), Loren Legarda-Leviste, and Tito Sotto. 
* 6/28/01 - After a visit to the Philippines, Gil Ramos of OFW-Vote/OFWNet reports that the following people of prominence and influence have signed the OFW Petition:  Juan Ponce Enrile, Juan Flavier, Roy Seneres, Jose De Venecia, Joey Lina, and Louie Logarta (president of the National Press Club). 
* 6/21/01 - Platform Europe, EMPOWER, and Elagda join forces to send a delegation to Manila on August 19 to 23. The schedule will include a dialogue with President Arroyo and the Congress (both the Senate and the House), followed by a PESC-KSP-sponsored solidarity conference (August 24 to 26) at UP Diliman. The local organizer is KAKAMMPI.   Click here to join the delegation visit. 
* 6/21/01 - Former Philippine Daily Inquirer editor Federico Pascual writes (in his Philippine Star column) a ringing endorsement of the voting rights campaign.
* 6/18/01 - Jose Z. Molano, Jr., executive director of the Commission on Overseas Filipinos, e-mails EMPOWER to assure that the Commission supports the right to vote not only of Filipino contract workers overseas but also of permanent residents who have not renounced their Filipino citizenship.
* 6/13/01 - Philippine Internet guru Ken Ilio, creator of Tanikalang Ginto and the grand patron of Filipino Web sites, endorses the voting rights campaign and lists the EMPOWER site under his exclusive Best of the Best Philippine-related sites.
* 6/12/01 - In an earlier e-mail to the OFW-Vote e-group, Senator Magsaysay (a topnotcher in the last Senate elections) expresses support for the passage of an absentee voting law.   We have also received reports about other senators committing to support an AV bill, including Senate President Nene Pimentel, Loren Legarda-Leviste, Pong Biazon, and Ramon Revilla (or his staff).
* 6/02/01 - Diario Filipino, published in the major cities of New Zealand, throws support behind the EMPOWER campaign.   
* 6/02/01 - The Manila Times issues another editorial in support of voting rights and publishes the OFW Petition.   
* 5/20/01 - cites the support of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Arizona (Philip Trainor's group) and Bart Tubalinal, Jr., publisher of Philippine Time U.S.A.  Also registering support is Francis Pangilinan of eLagda-Pinoy-Expats.    
* 5/14/01 - Early trends show pro-voting rights candidates for Senate seats likely to win, including Drilon, Osmeņa, Villar, and yes, possibly Taņada. Santiago, closely associated with the opposition but known to be a voting rights advocate, is also among the top 13.    
* 5/10/01 - ABS-CBN's, through Anna Pedrosa, expresses intention to help in the voting rights information dissemination campaign.    
* 5/06/01 - helps in the information campaign.    
* 5/06/01 - Clement Mesenas, editor of the Singapore-based Pinoy Bulletin, publishes the Overseas Filipinos Worldwide petition.    
* 5/06/01 - The Community Advocacy for Seafarers' Concerns (based in the Netherlands) issues a statement of support for the enfranchisement of Filipino seafarers.    
* 4/28/01 -, another biggie in the news portal business, joins EMPOWER in the voting rights campaign.    
* 4/27/01 - While in Boston, former President Fidel V. Ramos personally receives a copy of the EMPOWER manifesto.    
* 4/21/01 - The up-and-coming Web site, through Enrique Gonzales, publishes the EMPOWER manifesto.    
* 4/18/01 - The Philippine Herald Community News, the biggest Filipino newspaper in Australia, publishes the EMPOWER manifesto (through Romy Cayabyab's column).    
* 4/17/01 - Bobby Taņada sets up a Web site for his campaign (note that he lists absentee voting as one of his top three priorities).   
* 4/14/01 - On the heels of the Elagda-OFW/OFW-Vote issue, we receive reassurances (from the key people) that we're ready to move on, and that we should be more sensitive to the efforts of others (making sure there are no encroachments, duplication of efforts, and conflicts).    
* 4/12/01 - Rolly Amaranto, composer of the Awit Abroad album (singers include Nora Aunor, Nonoy Zuņiga, Claudine Barreto, Kelly Grace Salcedo, Juan Rodrigo, Aldoe Rubee, Richard Villanueva, Cindy Rosas, Jo Awayan, and Miriam Pantig) continues to pitch for voting rights and broaches the idea of a music video for the campaign.  (If you are interested in producing this video or for more details, please e-mail EMPOWER.) 
* 4/012/01 - Ricky Sardiosa announces his plan to publish the EMPOWER manifesto in the May hard-copy edition of Philippine Global News.  The Hong Kong-based newspaper has a free circulation of 50,000  or a pass-on circulation of 100,000 to 200,000.  (There are around 200,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong.)  Eddie Flores of Munting Nayon News is also expected to publish the EMPOWER manifesto for his readers in the Netherlands.  In addition,, the most popular site of its kind in Europe, creates a page for the EMPOWER statement.   In Manila, posts the EMPOWER statement of solidarity with disenfranchised youths. 
* 4/09/01Percy Cruz, a congressional candidate (1st District, Quezon City), joins the EMPOWER coalition.  Please visit Percy's Web site to see how you can help in his campaign. 
* 4/07/'s Bobby Reyes commits to supporting the campaign. (Note:  Reference to EMPOWER having a chairman is incorrect).
* 4/06/01 - Elagda creates OFW Voting Rights section.
* 4/04/01 - Important endorsements by leading Web sites, including,, and (recipient of the Technology Award in Australia's National Multicultural Marketing Awards).
* 4/02/01The Manila Times issues another editorial, calling for a special congressional session to pass an enabling law for overseas voting before May 14.
* 3/31/01 - Senator Blas Ople, Senate president pro tempore, bats for absentee voting.
* 3/29/01 - Asked by columnist Rene Bas (one of our strongest media advocates) about her stand on the overseas voting issue, President Arroyo affirms her support and reassures that passage of an absentee voting law is part of her legislative agenda.
* 3/28/01 - Gil Ramos pursues the creation of the OFW-Vote e-group to complement the efforts of Elagda-OFW.  To those who want to play a more structured role in the campaign (committees, etc.) and pursue other long-term agenda (such as the creation of an OFW Bank), please send a blank e-mail to
* 3/28/01 - The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the biggest and arguably the most influential newspaper in the Philippines, appeals in an editorial for the political enfranchisement of overseas Filipinos.
* 3/23/01 -  Bringing the issue to the fore:  ABS-CBN International's Kumusta Kabayan continues to focus on the voting rights issue, inteviewing KAKAMMPI, Platform, and EMPOWER in a live global telecast.    
* 3/20/01Pasali Cooperative Nederland, through Carlo Butalid (director of PESC-KSP and one of our key leaders in Europe), voices support for the campaign.  Pasali, an organization of seafarers, is pushing for the voting rights of more than 200,000 Filipinos working in international ships.    
* 3/19/01 -  Within 36 hours after Koloks (PPU Forum's resident imp) writes First Daughter Luli Arroyo, she points out that her mother "as senator authored a bill allowing overseas Filipinos to vote, (and) she has not changed her stand on that issue."  
* 3/16/01 -  More media gains:  1) The Philippine Star opens a message board on the overseas voting issue.  2) ABS-CBN International's Kumusta Kabayan interviews Wigberto Taņada on absentee voting and his plan to file a bill.  3) Web portal helps publicize the issue.  
* 3/16/01 -  The Hong Kong-based Philippine Global News joins the campaign. 
* 3/12/01 -  More media heavyweights, including Art Borjal and Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, focus on the plight of the disenfranchised overseas Filipinos.
* 3/12/01Senatorial candidate Ernesto Boy Herrera laments a grave case of injustice: "We call them our unsung heroes. They practically saved the country from economic collapse during the 1997 financial crisis. And yet, our legislature sits on the bills that would have allowed our brothers and sisters abroad to enjoy the same right as any Filipino."
* 3/12/01EMPOWER voices support for and solidarity with the 4.5 million disenfranchised youth.
* 3/10/01Former First Lady Loi Estrada challenges President Arroyo: "President Arroyo should also speak vigorously for the seven million OFWs as well as she speaks for the four million still unregistered voters."
* 3/09/01 -  Senatorial candidate Franklin Drilon issues a statement of support. Surveys show Drilon among the top 3 Senate contenders.
* 3/09/01 -  Enteng Romano of sets up an e-group for the overseas voting campaign.
* 3/08/01 -  Important endorsements from the Gabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Council of Filipino-American Organizations of the Pacific Northwest (representing 8 major organizations in the State of Washington), and NaFFAA - Region VII (representing 20 affiliate members in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska).
* 3/07/01 -  In a candid editorial, The Manila Times strongly urges President Arroyo to help overseas Filipinos exercise the fundamental right to vote.
* 3/04/01 -  Our global campaign continues to snowball with recent significant  endorsements from the following: the influential Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, the OFW Congress (representing approximately 800,000 Filipino migrants in Saudi Arabia), the Council of Filipino Associations in Austria (comprised of 16 major Filipino organizations), the Peasants Fund, Kaibigan, and the Canada-based Philippine H.E.L.P. Foundation. If President Arroyo understands basic political responsiveness, we should expect a position statement from her very soon in response to our three e-mails (sent directly, as well as coursed through the national security adviser and the press secretary).  Otherwise, we have no choice but to shift to a higher political gear. 
* 3/04/01The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines implores the Arroyo administration to prioritize the passage of an overseas voting law.
* 2/26/01Iskandalo Café joins the information campaign.
* 2/24/01 -  Senatorial candidate Wigberto Taņada commits to taking up the issue: "I will file a bill that will provide for a system of Overseas Voting for qualified Filipinos abroad. Our OFWs are our bagong bayani(s)by virtue of their remittances they have kept our economy afloat and prevented its total collapse. If only in recognition of this, they must be given the right to vote."
* 2/24/01 -  The Philippine Daily Inquirer/ publishes EMPOWER statement.
* 2/23/01 -  Enteng Romano of announces support for the voting rights campaign and lists it as one of Elagda's top-three priorities.
* 2/23/01 -  Australia (Solidality Philippines Australia Network) joins the loop.
* 2/22/01 -  Former Congressman and now National Security Adviser Roilo Golez expresses support for the voting rights campaign.
* 2/21/01 -  Columnist Conrado de Quiros, a consistent advocate of voting rights for overseas Filipinos, broaches the idea of non-remittance of income in case Philippine politicians fail to act on our appeal. Click here for the article.
* 2/20/01 -  PPU issues statement.
* 2/15/01NaFFAA's Executive Director Jon Melegrito reaffirms the group's support for the voting rights campaign--will coordinate U.S. efforts.   (NaFFAA, the biggest federation of Filipino organizations in the U.S., counts up to 3,000 affiliate members.)
* 2/9/01 -  Expats put up voting rights campaign page through PPU.
* 2/6/01 - Update from Ellene Sana, advocacy officer of KAKAMMPI: 
Dear friends--What's the status of the absentee voting bill?  It's practically like starting all over again!  Sadly.  This is a legislation so it's Congress's task.  In the 11th Congress, we made it up to the committee level at the Lower House.   At the Senate, it also reached up to the committee level.  It was awaiting deliberation on the floor in both houses when the "juetenggate" scandal exploded!!!  And killed it!  So, we will be faced with a new 12th Congress after the May elections.   There will be new people in Congress, which means new relations to work on.   The bill will have to be filed and sponsored again by the legislators.  After which it will be elevated to the committee level, then floor deliberations ...  In short, back to square one.  This early, we can of course lobby intensely the office of the president to make it a priority bill (endorsed by Malacaņang), because historically, if the bill is not a priority bill of Malacaņang, it does not really get anywhere ...
* 1/01 - Nonoi Hacbang, chair of the Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe, writes President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo--urging her to certify the overseas voting bill to Congress as urgent.   Hacbang also appeals to the Senate president to prioritize the issue.  Arroyo's list of priorities (reportedly based on the LEDAC meeting) does not include the passage of the constitutionally mandated absentee voting law.
 Related Articles
- Senator Jaworski Raises Issues
- Filipinos Abroad Inch Slowly Toward Right to Vote - Rasheed Abou-Alsahm,
- OFW's Right to Suffrage Pushed - ABS-CBN
- Enthusiasms:   GMA Calls for OFW Vote Law - Rene Bas, Manila Times
- State of the Nation - Conrado de Quiros,
- OFWs Push for Absentee Voting -
- Allow Overseas Filipinos to Vote - Etta Rosales
- Absentee Voting Rules Within the Philippines -
- Let Adopt Absentee Voting for 2004 Polls - Federico Pascual, Philippine Star
- The Deregulation of the Philippine Export Labor Industry - Jeremaiah M. Opiniano, (3-part series)
- New Deal for OFWs - Manila Times Editorial (Thanks to Bing Sitoy)
- OFW Petition - Manila Times
- Political Maturity of Filipinos - MB,
- Filipino Permanent Residents Call Philippine Congress to Pass Law on Absentee Voting - Leonardo O. Aromin,
- Overseas Filipinos Worldwide Petition
- Insulting to OFWs - Jojo Pangan,
- Give OFWs the Right to Vote - Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, (also linked on the site)
- Men in Limbo - Rina Jimenez-David, (reference to Erap friend Robert Aventajado batting for absentee voting through the Bagong Bayani party)
- Editorial - Manila Times (a reference to a potential remittance boycott if Congress ignores our campaign to pass an overseas voting law)
- Special OFW Column - Raul Palabrica, The Philippine Daily Inquirer (The 80,000 figure is an Inquirer typo--it should have been 800,000.)
- Word Alive - Fr. Bel San Luis, Manila Bulletin (cites a letter from Gilbert Joaquin, OFW-Vote/Elagda-OFW e-groups)
- Let OFWs Vote - Editorial, The Manila Times
- Special Column for OFWs  - Raul Palabrica, The Philippine Daily Inquirer (cites a letter from Cathy Ledesma, OFW-Vote/Elagda-OFW e-group)
-'s postings:  top story on the main page and EMPOWER manifesto in English and Tagalog.
- GMA Bats for OFW-Vote Law  - Rene Bas, Manila Times
- EMPOWER Statement  -'s version (Dee Limjoco, Webmistress)
- Absentee Vote in 3 Pilot Areas Urged  - Manila Bulletin
- A Call for Active Participation  - Congressional candidate Adrian "Dado" Sison, (Franco Santos, Webmaster)
- A Voice from America  - Ernie Delfin, Philippine Star
- An Open Letter to Luli Arroyo  - Koloks (published by
- Tagalog Translation of the EMPOWER Statement - Translated by Terry of OFW-Vote and Elagda-OFW
- Clean Walls for Clean Polls - Rod Dula (quotes Gil's letter), Malaya
- Abdicating to Sin - Ellen Tordesillas, Malaya
- The Uncivil Society - Herman Tiu Laurel, Manila Times
- An OFW's Call to Vote - Teresita Uy (Forumer),
- The OFW Vote - ABS-CBN
- Overseas Filipinos Still Our Heroes - Zenaida Amador, Manila Bulletin
- Commentary - Institute of Church and Social Concerns, Philippine Daily Inquirer/GMA 7
- Burned-up Lust for Reform - Rene Bas, Manila Times
- Drilon Sees Absentee Balloting in 2004 - Efren Danao, Philippine Star
- A Culture of Mistrust - Enteng Romano,
- Inequity - Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer
- Enthusiasms - Rene Q. Bas, The Manila Times
- Unsung Heroes in Faraway Places - Art Borjal, Philippine Star
- Political Tidbits - Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, Philippine Daily Inquirer
- EMPOWER Press Release - Philippine Daily Inquirer/GMA 7
- Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations' Letters to President Arroyo and to Congress: 1 and 2.
- Does Arroyo Hate Dogeaters? - Rene Q. Bas, The Manila Times
- Grant OFWs the Right to Vote - The Manila Times Editorial
- Who's Afraid of the OFW Vote? - Rene Q. Bas, The Manila Times
- Give Migrant Filipinos Voting Rights, CBCP Asks Govt - Norman Bordadora, Philippine Daily Inquirer
- OFWs Launch Drive for Overseas Voting - Dona Policar, Daily Tribune.
- Source of the Contagion - Rina Jimenez-David, Philippine Daily Inquirer (lamented the Estrada administration's insensitivity to OFW issues).
- Critical Reflections on Estrada's Ouster - Temario C. Rivera, Philippine Daily Inquirer ("... The Filipino diaspora has become an immediate continuing presence, intervening in and interrogating even the most local struggles.").
- Declaration on Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance Against Migrants and Trafficked Workers - World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, Tehran, 18 February 2001 (Recommendation #7 is the granting of voting rights for migrants.).
- OFWs to Stop Sending Dollars to Families - Ding Cervantes, Philippine Star (This was actually in relation to the oust-Estrada campaign, but it's an option we may need to use in our campaign.).
- Ten-Point Pro-OFW Agenda - Jeremaiah M. Opiniano, Inquirer.
- How About the Institution of Honesty? - Ellen Tordesillas, Malaya (another letter from Gil Ramos).
- The Pea Shooter - Jun Baustista, Manila Times.
- Demand and Supply - Boo Chanco, Philippine Star.
- Words Worth - Mons-Romulo Tantoco, Philippine Star.
- A Vacuum of Trust - Blas Ople, Manila Bulletin.
- OFWs: Needed When RP Is in Financial Turmoil - Jeremaiah M. Opiniano (Institute on Church and Social Issues), Daily Tribune.
- The Distrust Remains - Ellen Tordesillas, Malaya (reprints a letter by Gil Ramos, one of our forumers).
- Never Again - Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe Delegation Report - KASAMA, Solidarity Philippines Australia Network.
- They're Still Filipinos but Why Can't They Vote? - Alfred A. Araya Jr.,
- From a Distance - Carmen Pedrosa, Philippine Star.
- The Party-List System in Review - Jerry F. Adevoso, Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- A Boon to the Nation - Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- No Ifs, Ands, or Buts About It - Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- KAKAMMPI's Appeal to Enact the Absentee Voting Bill - Issued in May 2000.
- HB 10720 - Text of the House Bill.
- SB 1746 - Text of the Senate Bill.
- Salient Features of HB 10720 and Senate Bill 1746 - Bills that "died" in Congress after "juetengate."
- KUMARE-KUMPARE's Position Paper on Absentee Voting - Drafted by the Friends of Filipino Migrant Workers, Inc.
- Position Paper on Absentee Voting - By I.F. Bagasao (Geneva, Switzerland).
- Empowering 7 Million Migrant Filipinos for the Next Millennium - Speech delivered by Representative Etta Rosales.
- Right to Vote of Overseas Filipinos - By Carlo Butalid, Philippine International Review.
- Absentee Voting for Overseas Filipinos - By Gene Alcantara, Philippine Express International.
 Some E-mails/Statements of Support
On behalf of Mr. Rick Q. Beltran, president of the Council of Filipino-American Organizations of the Pacific Northwest (an umbrella group of 8 major Filipino organizations in the State of Washington) and the concurrent chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations - Region VII (representing 20 affiliate member organizations in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska), I am pleased to inform you that in our joint meeting on March 5, 2001, the Council and the NaFFAA regional chapter passed a resolution unanimously supporting the worldwide campaign urging President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to immediately re-certify as urgent House Bill 10720, otherwise known as the Overseas Absentee Voting Bill.  Joe Pascual (together with Armand Oliveros, one of the movers behind the Global Alliance of Filipinos 4 Filipinos)

The CBCP-ECMI strongly implores the present administration to make the passage of the absentee voting bill a priority.  Filipinos overseas should not only be encouraged to "send home money," but to "send their votes" as well.  Bishop Ramon Arguelles for the Catholoc Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

It is only right that the OFWs be given the right to vote.   This is the least we could do to these new heroes of the republic.  Emerito F. Salud, Esq., for Kaibigan, Inc.

I will file a bill that will provide for a system of overseas voting for qualified Filipinos abroad. Our OFWs are our bagong bayani(s)by virtue of their remittances they have kept our economy afloat and prevented its total collapse. If only in recognition of this, they must be given the right to vote.  Former Senator/Congressman Wigberto Taņada

(The OFW voting rights campaign) might be late for this May elections, but I believe that the time to pursue this is now to make sure that (an overseas voting law) is implemented by 2004 ... Enteng Romano for

Solidarity Philippines Australia Network supports the campaign to empower Filipino migrants through the ballot.  Please add SPAN to the list of campaign supporters.  SPAN Coordinators

We wholeheartedly support the right of overseas Filipinos to vote in Philippine elections. We believe that the Filipino's right to vote should be upheld and provided for regardless of his or her physical location. To deny this right is to deny the voice of millions of Filipinos whose contribution is so vital to the life and well-being of the country. It is time to correct the neglect of the right of all overseas Filipinos to cast their votes and have a voice in all Philippine elections.  Jose R. Lim for Philippine H.E.L.P. Foundation

I fully agree with you on your aspirations for absentee (voting). That was a crucial factor during the Florida vote in the last U.S. presidential election.  National Security Adviser Roilo Golez

NaFFAA has adopted resolutions supporting this measure. I will bring it up again when Ambassador Rabe meets with us here in D.C. this weekend. We are more than happy to coordinate a national campaign.  Jon Melegrito for NaFFAA

Please be advised that RIVAssociates Corporation endorses the Filipino OFWs' right to vote campaign. Like many before us, we envision a fast-growing 7 million OFWs to eventually participate ACTIVELY in the election process, up and down Philippine political landscape.  Ramon V. Alonso and RM Inocencio



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